Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

P Publisher’s Point by Jean Loxley-Barnard
Listening



LISTENING




Extroverts love to talk. Perhaps everyone does. But introverts know how to control their urge to talk. We all need to develop this ability.

We learn when we listen. How simple it is to write this, know this, realize its value. It is not as easy to stop talking as it is to admit that doing so has many advantages.

I think I learned the value of listening when my kids were in school. There were several years when I drove them each way. It was when picking them up that I quickly realized there was a big benefit in doing that - and how important it was to hear about their day. Immediately on getting into the car, they talked about the significant moments of their day. It was not usually about what they learned academically, although it was occasionally.



Kids want to talk about what impacted them personally. “He said...she said...do you know what my teacher told us!” Listening lets us know what is important right now to those we love.

I recall their dad saying, “They never tell me anything.” I responded that we have to listen to lots of both interesting and boring kids’ talk at great length in order to be read in on what is important.


When someone shares something very personal with us,
we need to listen intently.
It denotes trust and needs to be recognized.
That kind of trust also needs to be returned.


The privilege of being informed must be earned. This is true for adults as well as children. I think people distinguish quickly those who are good listeners who care, before disclosing intimate information to them. And it is the sharing of intimate information that cements a relationship.

When someone shares something very personal with us, we need to listen intently. It denotes trust and needs to be recognized. That kind of trust also needs to be returned.

When someone tells me they are embarrassed to speak before a crowd, I tell them my most embarrassing moment came in junior high school when asked to play the piano while the class sang. That’s the only way this extrovert understood how it could be true that someone who is asked to give a eulogy would rather be the person being eulogized!

In the worst moments of my life, I can still remember those I could count on to listen to my pain. It was something precious, something I always want to pay forward. All it takes is listening.




Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.